MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 19: Chad Wingard poses during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL media opportunity at Waverley Park on October 19, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

New Hawthorn recruit Chad Wingard is optimistic that he can make his return to football this weekend.

After struggling with a calf problem that plagued his pre-season, Wingard is hopeful he can make his debut for the Hawks.

‘It’s going really well, and it has pulled up really well after the two hits I had last week,” Wingard told hawthornfc.com.au.

“So, this week it’s back to training with the main group on Tuesday and Thursday again.

“It’s tracking along nicely and hopefully I’ll get out there as soon as I can.”

Wingard claimed that the club’s first round win over Adelaide was extremely important.

“It helps us getting a win, that’s for sure,” he said.

“To come off with a win in a hostile environment, it’s pretty tough, so it’s a good start to the season.

“As much as I want to be out there, if you’re injured this is probably the best-case scenario, them winning games. Hopefully I can come back into the side and contribute.”

Hawthorn play the Western Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon at the MCG, with both teams coming into the game with opening round victories.